ESPN reports that two teams have made offers to Marlins free agent A.J. Burnett. Thought the two teams are undisclosed, the rumor is that one of them was the Blue Jays who supposedly offered a 5 year, $50 million deal. As noted earlier, my estimate for a Phillies pitch was severley underestimated and this is even more proof. Nonetheless, I doubt the other team making Burnett an offer was the Phils. The brass was way too busy with the road trip all the way to Virginia for "a good discussion." Besides a 5 and $50 deal seems far too much for the Phils; and with Wagner as a priority, there might not be much gold left in the coffers.
So, I’m left scratching my head with both hands. Two questions: Are these guys overvalued? And if so, should the Phils pay them anyway? I’ve posed these questions over at the Baseball Fever message board so if you have some advice post it here or there. One interesting comment was that the Mets want to win more and that’s why they’re offering Wagner obscene amounts. I’m not so sure about that but I am sure I hate Mets even more now.
Over at Hardball Times, they have an interesting if imprecise value calculator. Based on Billy Wagner’s performance last year, he’s worth $8,875,761 and A.J.’s price comes in at $4,928,380. Despite being steamrolled in the steroid agreement, the MLB Players Association can always find comfort in the free agent market. Incidentally, Chase Utley is worth over $12 million but he’s paid the rookie wage of $345,000. I’m assuming Gillick’s smart enough to resign him before the end of next season and for less than $12 mil per year.
Speaking of rookie value over veterans, is it true that Shane Victorino is officially the Phils new centerfielder and Kenny Lofton is out? What’s JMike gonna do? Victorino has been highly touted, but I’ll have to say I wasn’t too impressed by his debut in Washington. To be fair, he was thown into some pretty high pressure situations but the rest of the season I guess he fared pretty well. I’m looking forward to an everyday center fielder even though I’m always in favor of a good platoon. I have a high standard for the CF position as a speedy guy with a high OBP, preferably as a leadoff hitter. All thanks to Gordon Gecko, aka the Dude.